City of Alexandria Celebrates Black History Month

Page updated on Feb 1, 2019 at 4:53 PM

City of Alexandria Celebrates Black History Month

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2019

The City of Alexandria invites the public to celebrate Black History Month with special events and activities throughout February. Black History Month is an annual recognition and celebration of the history, culture, achievements and contributions of African Americans and persons of African descent in U.S. history. This year, Alexandria will celebrate two historic anniversaries: the 1939 sit-in at the Barrett Branch Library and the 2014 dedication of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial.

Join the celebration throughout February with a series of special events, exhibits, and other activities, including storytelling events for children and adults, film screenings, lectures, and the opening of a new exhibit, “Through Darkness To Light,” at the Alexandria Black History Museum.

Recognition for black history was first advocated by African American author, journalist, and historian Carter G. Woodson, who pioneered “Negro History Week” in 1926. The recognition was set for the second week in February, in honor of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1968, the Black United Students at Kent State University advocated that Negro History Week be extended into a month-long commemoration, celebrating the first Black History Month on Kent State’s campus in 1970. Black History Month, which has been formally recognized in the United States since 1976, is also celebrated in Canada and the United Kingdom.

For the full schedule of events and more information about Black History Month, visit alexandriava.gov/BlackHistory.

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

For reasonable disability accommodation, contact blackhistory@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.4356, Virginia Relay 711.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/107907.

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